Beginner’s Guide To Intermittent Fasting
Recently, in one of our blog posts, we briefly discussed Intermittent Fasting, its benefits and its correlation with weight loss. Intermittent Fasting can help improve your mental health, help you with your weight loss journey, reduce insulin resistance which can lower your risk of type 2 diabetes, reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in the body, and induce cellular repair, these are only a few benefits of Intermittent Fasting. Hence, a lot of people, including celebrities, swore and wanted to try this method.
You can read the full article here.
However, it's hard to begin if you're not familiar with Intermittent Fasting. Where to start? What to do? Fret not, this article is specially written for you!
Let's define Intermittent Fasting again, just to give a quick recap and a brief overview of what it is.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
You may not believe it, but fasting has been practiced for a long time--throughout human evolution. Ancient hunter-gatherers, unlike us, didn’t have supermarkets, refrigerators or food available year-round. There are times that they couldn’t find anything to eat. Humans evolved to be able to function without food for extended periods of time as a result.
Intermittent Fasting involves cycling between periods of fasting and eating. It is an eating pattern. It is not about cutting food intake or diet, but teaching our body a timed approach of eating. Diet plans restrict your calorie intake, Intermittent Fasting doesn’t require or limit the food you eat.
The goal of this article is to help you get started with Intermittent Fasting by providing everything you need about it.
When to avoid doing Intermittent Fasting?
A lot of studies proved the effectiveness of Intermittent Fasting, however, this method of losing weight isn’t for everyone.
If you are underweight or are having a hard time gaining weight, pregnant, breastfeeding then Intermittent Fasting is not for you. You caloric need is higher, you need sufficient calories on a daily basis.
If you have an eating disorder then Intermittent Fasting isn’t for you either. If you are susceptible to an eating disorder then you shouldn’t associate yourself with fasting.
Lastly, intermittent fasting isn’t for the faint hearted. Make sure that you have the resolve and mindset to push through with it before starting.
What to expect with Intermittent Fasting?
- You will most likely notice your stomach is grumbling during fasting periods, primarily if you are used to constant grazing throughout the day.
- Fasting may also lead to an increase in the stress hormone, cortisol, which may lead to even more food cravings.
- Overeating and binge eating are two common side effects of intermittent fasting.
- Intermittent fasting is sometimes associated with dehydration because when you do not eat, sometimes you forget to drink. For good health, it is essential to actively stay hydrated throughout the day by drinking, on average, three liters of water.
- You will most likely feel tired because your body is running on less energy than usual, and since fasting can boost stress levels, it can also disrupt your sleep patterns. It is crucial to adopt a healthy, regular sleep pattern and stick to it so you can feel rested on an everyday basis.
- The same biochemistry that regulates mood also regulates appetite with nutrient consumption affecting the activity of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin.
- Deregulating your appetite may do the same to your mood and therefore you will most likely feel irritable on occasions when you are fasting.
Read the full article here.
Intermittent Fasting as per Diet Doctor, Dr. Jason Fung
Fasting is not the same as starvation. Fasting is the controlled voluntary abstinence of food.
Hippocrates, for example, who is considered as the father of modern medicine said “Our food should be our medicine, our medicine should be our food, but to eat when you are sick is to feed you sickness.”
What does this mean? What Hippocrates meant was this idea that people have this fasting instinct. If you are feeling unwell, you don’t think about eating big. In fact, eating a lot of food or in a big buffet is the last thing you’ll think about. Our bodies are designed to fast, it is designed to store food in times of availability and release it during times of scarcity.
Fasting is something we instinctually or naturally do. You can watch the full video here.
How to Intermittent Fast?
Intermittent fasting is very flexible. You can fast for as long or as short as you prefer or want. However, you need medical supervision if you want to fast longer than a few days. Shorter fasting is generally and frequently done by people who do Intermittent Fasting.
16:8, sometimes referred to as the 8 hour eating window, and is also known as Leangains protocol and was popularized by fitness expert Martin Berkhan is fasting for 16 hours and only eating for 8 hours a day. Generally this is done daily or almost every day.
You eat all your meals within the 8 hour window, you can either fit two or more meals within this eating window.
The most common way to do this is to eat during dinner and fast from breakfast to lunch. If you ate your dinner at 8 pm then you shouldn’t eat until noon. That’s already a 16 hour fast and 8 hr eating window.
This involves a 4-hour eating window and a 20-hour fast. This would involve eating either one large, lengthy meal or two smaller meals within this period.
This diet is also called the Fast Diet and was popularized by British journalist Michael Mosley. This is the version of intermittent fasting that has the most scientific support, as most studies on intermittent fasting have featured similar advice.
The 5:2 fast involves five regular eating days and two fasting days. It means eating what you typically eat for 5 days and limiting or restricting your calorie intake to around 200 to 500 for 2 days.
24 hrs Fast
This way involves fasting from one meal to another. For example, fasting from Lunch to Lunch or Dinner to Dinner. So, if on Day 1 you eat dinner, then your next meal is dinner on Day 2.
Alternate Day Fasting
Another related approach to 5:2 is to have “fasting” days with 500 calories not just twice a week, but every other day.
36 Hour Fast
36 hour fasting is if you eat a meal on Day 1, then you should fast on Day 2, and your next meal should be your breakfast on Day 3.
This way of fasting requires a constant check with your doctor or health care provider to make sure you are not a risk for fasting complications.
Love + miracles,